[This is part 2 of a multipart season-review series. This post looks back in time at the season that was and a bit of what is to come. A subsequent post will use what we learned this season to take an even-more (!) prospective look ahead at what the Timberwolves should look like in 2014-15 and beyond.]
1. Coaching Search: Who will it be: Flip or The Field?
Patrick J: Survey says….the field? The question mark remains there because Flip remains insistent on including the “never say never” clause in his remarks.
I’ll go on record: I, like many Wolves fans, would prefer not to mix business with pleasure, POBO duties with coaching, or whatever other mixed metaphors might be relevant here.
Look, I admire what Flip did in shaping the early aughts Wolves into the Western Conference title contenders that they were. He was and likely still is a solid NBA coach. Maybe not a great one, but not a bad one, and the Wolves could certainly do worse. They have in the past. (Exhibit A: Rambis, Kurt.)
More than that, I’m uneasy with the notion of the guy who was hired out of thin air to replace David Kahn taking the reins over all of the Wolves franchise that matters, for many intents and purposes within a year of his hiring. Whether or not true, it would feel too premeditated. And that means Flip would immediately be the target of criticism, whether fair or unfair, and fans would be more prone to ask “what if” questions about the Wolves coaching seat than they would if Flip had stayed in his lane and led the franchise from his POBO seat.
Even more than that, there’s a great pool of available coaches whom Flip could hire for the job. We’ll touch on this below, so I won’t say much about them here, but Flip and the Wolves would look better if they hire one of the numerous attractive outside candidates. Presumably they also know this, which (presumably?) contributed Flip’s declaration today on ESPN that he’s an unlikely candidate for the job.
Awarding the job to an outside candidate with the bona fides worthy of this job is a winning move for everyone, fans included. So let’s hope “The Field” triumphs in this one.
Andy G: Agree on what’s preferable, so I’ll answer on what I believe is more likely. I’d bet on Flip over the field. By just a nudge.
My most likely scenario looks like this:
Flip/Wolves Brass float all sorts of rumors of high profile, totally unrealistic candidates that are in consideration for the job. (See Izzo, Tom; Donovan, Billy.) Once those inevitably don’t happen, the Wolves are left standing on their heels on the eve of Kevin Love’s final season under Kahntract.
What option will they have but to choose continuity and familiarity, perhaps with an unwritten promise to Kevlar that he will have final say in, you know, the *real* coach.
That’s my most likely scenario. Flip over the field. Then if Love decides to leave, Flip can just keep the job, long term.